Gay educator running for East Point City Council

Davion Lewis would become the only LGBTQ member and first-ever LGBTQ person of color on the East Point City Council if he wins the election in November.

Lewis (photo), the executive director of charter schools group RISE Schools, is running for the Ward A seat. Councilmember Alexander Gothard is not seeking reelection.

Lewis said he wants to make East Point the sixth city in Georgia to pass a broad, LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination policy.

“I know people don’t just want to be tolerated,” he told Project Q Atlanta. “I don’t want to be tolerated. I want to have the same rights as everyone else. In order to do that, there needs to be an equal playing ground in the laws in our city and our country.”

Lewis also wants to make the restrooms in city facilities gender-neutral as a way to acknowledge the city’s transgender residents.

These actions will help make East Point a more welcoming place for LGBTQ people, Lewis said.

“I know that I don’t see [LGBTQ] folks walking around holding hands or anything like that,” he said. “Some of it might be some folks are private and don’t do public displays of affection, but I wonder if under the surface, folks don’t feel comfortable doing that here like they would in Midtown.”

Lewis was one of four LGBTQ candidates who were endorsed by Georgia Equality earlier this month.

The first-time candidate welcomed the endorsement and said he’d be proud to bring LGBTQ representation to the city council.

“The city does have a sizeable LGBTQ population,” he said. “But that’s not necessarily reflected on the city council or boards and commissions.”

Lewis also plans on improving residents’ quality of life, supporting youth engagement and leadership, strengthening the economy and increasing government transparency.

“I would ask voters to look at the track record of all of the candidates who are running and where they stand not just on issues that impact members of the LGBTQ community, but where they stand on causes that would be beneficial to folks that are disenfranchised and the most vulnerable in our society,” he said.

Gay civic activist Mike Herring is also running for East Point City Council as a write-in candidate.

Herring and Lewis would return an LGBTQ person to the city council for the first time since 2015.

Three LGBTQ candidates have made unsuccessful bids for East Point City Council in recent years. Ken DeLeon ran in 2009 and 2015, De’Andre Pickett ran in 2013 and Christopher Weed ran in 2017.

Photo courtesy Davion Lewis